The accordion players on the Berlin U Bahn are the inspiration behind 'Akkordeon Baroque' series. when I first went to Berlin, the U bahn was jam packed with seriously great musicians and especially wonderful were the many accordion players from eastern Europe. I moved to Berlin in November 2013 when the winter was settling in and it was bitterly cold. I didn't know anyone at the time, felt very isolated and spent many hours underground listening to these great musicians. The rich, sombre, dignified sound that these accordion players made and the delicacy , virtuosity and discipline with which they played Bach was impressive and inspiring. It seemed as though though grappling with adapting Bach to their instrument that something else was brought out in the music. There was for me a freshness to it and a sense of surprise and re-discovery of the music. There was also something impelling about the need in these players to communicate this music that drove them to stretch their technique to the limit.
I finally found a collaborator for this project in Bartosz Glowacki and together we now play programmes that take the word 'Baroque' more literally, as in the French for misshappen pearl, more rare, beautiful and costly than the regular ones, maybe even ugly in their beauty. We now include the 'rare pearls' of contemporary and experimental music in the programme.